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anointedone
07-15-2007, 11:18 PM
Connors or Agassi? Which one of these two players with similar games was the greater player?

superman1
07-15-2007, 11:20 PM
Connors will win this poll on this website.

If you polled all the tennis fans in the world, Agassi would probably win by a decent margin.

Who was the greater player? Who the hell cares? They were both great. In the end it's just a f'ing game where you hit a ball back and forth. None of these people are really great.

anointedone
07-15-2007, 11:28 PM
One of the most impressive feats of Jimmy Connors was reaching 31 slam semifinals, the most of any man in history.

Jimmy Connors also held the record for most weeks ranked #1 at 160 weeks straight, before Federer broke it earlier this year. Furthermore Connors ranks a quite close 3rd all time in total weeks ranked #1 at 268 weeks spent there. Trailing Sampras at 286, and so very barely Lendl at 270 weeks.

Connors quite likely was denied a calender Grand Slam, not a career Grand Slam, but a calender Grand Slam in 1974, by being barred from participation from the 1974 French Open, an event he would have been heavily favored to win.

martin
07-15-2007, 11:33 PM
Connors has a better career with more titles and more important grandslam wins but Agassi has won every grand slam including the French though Connors skipped that one in his best years and he played australian open only twice. Agassi won the less important australian open 4 times. Connors was more consistent for a longer period. Agassi wasted his talent for many years. I think Connors is greater.

anointedone
07-15-2007, 11:37 PM
Connors has a better career with more titles and more important grandslam wins but Agassi has won every grand slam including the French though Connors skipped that one in his best years and he played australian open only twice. Agassi won the less important australian open 4 times. Connors was more consistent for a longer period. Agassi wasted his talent for many years. I think Connors is greater.

Those are all good points.

It is also worth remembering that the top mens players did not play the Australian Open from 1976-1982 at all. So in comparing recent players like Federer, Sampras, and Agassi to players of that time like McEnroe, Borg, and Connors it is best to compare them by comparing only the French/Wimbledon/
U.S Open combined performance.

So in that sense 4 titles for Agassi vs 7 for Connors, 7 for McEnroe, 11 for Borg. Or 12 titles for Sampras vs 7 for Connors, 7 for McEnroe, 11 for Borg.
Or 9 titles for Federer vs 7 for Connors, 7 for McEnroe, 11 for Borg.

martin
07-15-2007, 11:48 PM
Agassi will win this poll for sure because it is not not so long ago when he played but if you just look at the facts then there's no doubt that Connors simply had the better career.

anointedone
07-15-2007, 11:58 PM
Here are some other comparisions between them:

Career singles titles- Connors 105, Agassi 60
Career singles finals- Connors 154, Agassi 90
Career doubles titles- Connors 15, Agassi 1

Grand Slam finals- Connors 15, Agassi 13
Grand Slam semis-Connors 31, Agassi 23

Weeks ranked #1- Connors 268, Agassi 87

anointedone
07-15-2007, 11:58 PM
I forgot to mention that Connors 105 singles titles is another record that he holds. Nobody in history has won more then that.

superman1
07-16-2007, 01:41 AM
The poll is who was the better player, not who had the greater career statistically.

My humble opinion is that Agassi was just a better tennis player all around, but that's just me. I hate comparing generations. I've only seen 2 Connors matches in my life. And I wasn't watching tennis back when Agassi was in his prime, I mainly watched him in the latter stages of his career. But if I had been watching tennis back in the 70's, I'd probably prefer Connors for sentimental reasons. We always like the stuff we grew up with more than the current stuff. Actually, Jimmy Connors was a bigger name to me when I was very young than Andre Agassi was. Agassi wasn't even on my radar. I only knew of Connors, Courier, Chang, and Sampras.

martin
07-16-2007, 03:01 AM
The poll says who is the better player but Anoitedone means who is the greater player and, just look at his first reply.
Maybe is Roddick a better player then Agassi but just because of Federer he doesn't win a grandslam or Safin or someone else. You can only compare their careers and Connors just has a better career. It is a fact. So how can anybody say that Agassi is a greater player then. It's ridiculous.

anointedone
07-16-2007, 09:05 AM
Here is how I compare them games subjectively speaking:

Serve-Agassi
Return of Serve-Connors
Forehand-Agassi
Backhand-Connors
Net Game-Connors
Movement-Connors
Mental Game-Connors BIG TIME
Passing Game-tie

I think Connors was overall the better player personally in a subjective sense.

paterson
07-16-2007, 12:35 PM
Both Agassi and Connors have "tier two" status below the greats of the game. Connors is overrated. He was not quite the all-time immortal of tennis which some paint him as. He played for a long time, won a ton of minor tournaments and his achievements are inflated because of the absurd ranking system (ranked #1 in 1975 and 1977 despite no slams in either of those years). He had 2 great years (1974 and 1982) was but clearly inferior to other greats he faced such as Borg, McEnroe and Lendl. He never won the French or even reached the final. His achievements are comparable to those of Agassi: great, but still overshadowed by others in their eras. Connors was overshadowed by Borg and McEnroe, Agassi by Sampras. The achievements of Connors and Agassi are based more on longevity than ever
truly dominating.

MEAC_ALLAMERICAN
07-16-2007, 12:41 PM
My judgment is a little clouded because I personally don't like Connors, but I think Agassi is the better player.

martin
07-16-2007, 01:19 PM
Ofcourse he didn't win the French because he didn't take part from 1974 till 1978. Those were his best years and he probably should have won that tournament. In 1975 he reached the final of every grand slam and in 1977 also which is quite impressive. His career is more impressive then Mcenroe and let's not forget he was seven years older than Mac. Lendl lost twice against Connors in the final of the us open. After 1984 an aging Connors was not in his prime anymore and started to lose against Lendl but then again he was eight years older. Do you know a tennis player in modern tennis older than 32 years who was number one in the world?

paterson
07-16-2007, 02:31 PM
With Borg around, Connors would NEVER have won Roland Garros. We should take away his 1974 AO title as not worthy of a grand slam due to the weak field. Connors would equal with McEnroe (7 slams) and well behind Borg (11 slams), despite having a FAR longer career. I find it
ridiculous that, during his supposed five year run as #1 (1974-78), Borg actually won MORE slams than Connors (6 to 5). How can anyone say Connors was dominating?

His longevity was impressive. I'm not sure if Connors playing
until 39/40 is any more impressive than Agassi reaching a US Open final at age 35 later era. Jimbo was a great champ - but not really even the greatest of his era.

anointedone
07-16-2007, 06:02 PM
Connors most certainly could have beaten Borg at 1974 French Open, and maybe even 1975 French Open. Keep in mind, while it was green clay, Connors beat Borg 3 times on clay from 1974-1976, and had a huge mental edge over Borg until Borgs hard fought upset win over Connors in the 1977 Wimbledon final.

anointedone
07-16-2007, 06:04 PM
Ofcourse he didn't win the French because he didn't take part from 1974 till 1978. Those were his best years and he probably should have won that tournament. In 1975 he reached the final of every grand slam and in 1977 also which is quite impressive. His career is more impressive then Mcenroe and let's not forget he was seven years older than Mac. Lendl lost twice against Connors in the final of the us open. After 1984 an aging Connors was not in his prime anymore and started to lose against Lendl but then again he was eight years older. Do you know a tennis player in modern tennis older than 32 years who was number one in the world?

You are right. It is not fair to say Lendl had an edge over Connors based on head to head, when Lendl did not start dominating Connors until 1985 when Connors was 33.

Connors certainly substained a top level of tennis for more years then McEnroe, and was almost as dominant in 1974 as McEnroe was in 1984.

drakulie
07-16-2007, 06:15 PM
Those are all good points.

It is also worth remembering that the top mens players did not play the Australian Open from 1976-1982 at all. So in comparing recent players like Federer, Sampras, and Agassi to players of that time like McEnroe, Borg, and Connors it is best to compare them by comparing only the French/Wimbledon/
U.S Open combined performance.

So in that sense 4 titles for Agassi vs 7 for Connors, 7 for McEnroe, 11 for Borg. Or 12 titles for Sampras vs 7 for Connors, 7 for McEnroe, 11 for Borg.
Or 9 titles for Federer vs 7 for Connors, 7 for McEnroe, 11 for Borg.

Many of the top players also did not play the French during that same time for various reasons, so go ahead and take away a couple of Borg's French Opens. :roll:

anointedone
07-16-2007, 06:16 PM
Many of the top players also did not play the French during that same time for various reasons, so go ahead and take away a couple of Borg's French Opens. :roll:

Well Connors is the only one who may have been able to beat Borg once or twice at the French those years. Who else was there that skipped you think could have. The rest of the best-Vilas, Nastase, Panatta, Ramirez, Dibbs, Solomon, all played each year.

drakulie
07-16-2007, 06:23 PM
Well Connors is the only one who may have been able to beat Borg once or twice at the French those years. Who else was there that skipped you think could have. The rest of the best-Vilas, Nastase, Panatta, Ramirez, Dibbs, Solomon, all played each year.

These are "would of", "could of", "if" arguments.

Bottom line is, the winners of the AO during that time are more prestigious players than the winners of the French during the same time (other than Borg).

Could Borg, Connors, McEnroe, etc won more AO Opens??? It's a possibility> We wil never know.

Could Borg, Connors, Mcenroe have had career ending injuries if they played the AO early in there careers? It's a possibility> We will never know.

Could Connors have won the 74 FO? It's a possibility> We will never know.

The only thing we do know is who won, not who "could of", "should of" won.

anointedone
07-16-2007, 06:54 PM
Bottom line is, the winners of the AO during that time are more prestigious players than the winners of the French during the same time (other than Borg).

How can you say that the winner of the AO during that time were more prestigious players then the winners of the French. The fields at the French were much stronger then fields of the Australian then, with only Connors absent of the real contenders. Look at the Australian Open winners, runner up, and semifinalists from 1976-1982 vs the French Open:

1976 Australian Open: Champion - Mark Edmondson. Runner up - John Newcombe. Semifinal losers - Ken Rosewall, Ray Ruffels.

1977 Australian Open #1: Champion - Roscoe Tanner. Runner up - Guillermo Vilas. Semifinal losers - John Alexander, Ken Rosewall.

1977 Australian Open #2: Champion - Vitus Gerulaitis. Runner up - John Lloyd. Semifinal losers - John Alexander, Bob Giltinan.

1978 Australian Open: Champion - Guillermo Vilas. Runner up - John Marks.
Semifinal losers - Hank Pfister, Arthur Ashe.

1979 Australian Open: Champion - Guillermo Vilas. Runner up - John Sadri.
Semifinal losers - Victor Amaya, Colin Dilbley.

1980 Australian Open: Champion - Brian Teacher. Runner up - Kim Warwick.
Semifinal losers - Guillermo Vilas, Peter McNamara.

1981 Australian Open: Champion - Johan Kriek. Runner up - Steve Denton.
Semifinal losers - Hank Pfister, Mark Edmondson.

1982 Australian Open: Champion - Johan Kriek. Runner up - Steve Denton.
Semifinal losers - Paul McNamee, Hank Pfister.


1976 French Open: Champion - Adriano Panatta. Runner up - Harold Solomon. Semifinal losers - Eddie Dibbs, Raul Ramirez.

1977 French Open: Champion - Guillermo Vilas. Runner up - Brian Gottfried.
Semifinal losers - Phil Dent, Raul Ramirez.

1978 French Open: Champion - Bjorn Borg. Runner up - Guillermo Vilas. Semifinal losers - Corrado Barazzutti, Dick Stockton.

1979 French Open: Champion - Bjorn Borg. Runner up - Victor Pecci. Semifinal losers - Vitas Gerulaitis, Jimmy Connors.

1980 French Open: Champion - Bjorn Borg. Runner up - Vitas Gerulaitis.
Semifinal losers - Harold Solomon, Jimmy Connors.

1981 French Open: Champion - Bjorn Borg. Runner up - Ivan Lendl. Semifinal losers - Victor Pecci, Jose-Luis Clerc.

1982 French Open: Champion - Mats Wilander. Runner up - Guillermo Vilas.
Semifinal losers - Jose Higueras, Jose-Luis Clerc.


It seems clear to me the French Open was the far more prestigious event then as it drew the stronger fields clearly. The only ones who were not top players of the era in the French Open semis were Corrado Barazzutti, Phil Dent, and Dick Stockton. The weakest finalits like Brian Gottfried and Harold Solomon, were regular top 10 players then. The Australian had John Lloyd, John Marks, and John Sadri as a finalist in 3 consecutive years. They were followed by Kim Wawrick, Steve Denton twice, the next 3 years as finalists. Someone like Hank Pfister with 3 semifinals in 5 years there, and John Alexander with back to back semis. As well as a host of other virtual unknowns making the semis those years.

The winners more prestigious you say. The 3 French Opens Borg did not win were won by Panatta (who has multiple wins over Borg on clay), Vilas, and Wilander. The Australian Open from 76-82 has Vilas winning 2 times, and the rest 2 good players of the time who won their only slam title ever in Australia (Tanner, Vilas), and then guys who were definitely not elite like Teacher and Kriek.

Could Borg, Connors, McEnroe, etc won more AO Opens??? It's a possibility> We wil never know.

Could Borg, Connors, Mcenroe have had career ending injuries if they played the AO early in there careers? It's a possibility> We will never know.

Could Connors have won the 74 FO? It's a possibility> We will never know.

The only thing we do know is who won, not who "could of", "should of" won.

That is why I said I feel a good way to compare is to compare the 3 slams that were of full prestige for the men both then and now. Since we dont know how to fairly compare the Australian which is not fair to compare players from them as during those years it was not a prestigious event that was played by top players often.

superman1
07-16-2007, 06:54 PM
Could Agassi have won more Australian Opens if he had played more of them? Yes.

Was the Australian Open a lesser Slam when Agassi won it? No.

anointedone
07-16-2007, 06:57 PM
Could Agassi have won more Australian Opens if he had played more of them? Yes.

Was the Australian Open a lesser Slam when Agassi won it? No.

Nobody is saying it a lesser slam now, but it was a lesser slam while Connors, Borg, McEnroe (partialy) were in their primes.

martin
07-16-2007, 09:07 PM
Could Agassi have won more Australian Opens if he had played more of them? Yes.

Was the Australian Open a lesser Slam when Agassi won it? No.

It's still less prestigious then the other slams. Ask any player on the tour which slam they would like to win the most. Lendl would probably trade all of his australian open wins for one grand slam win at Wimbledon.

drakulie
07-16-2007, 09:08 PM
How can you say that the winner of the AO during that time were more prestigious players then the winners of the French.

You are fogetting 70-75.

AO Winners= Ashe, Rosewall (twice), Newcombe (twice), Connors.

Between these 4 players they won a combined 30 Grand Slams.

FO Winners= Kodes (twice), Gimeno, Nastase, Borg (twice).

Between these 4 players they won a combined 18 Grand Slams.


That is why I said I feel a good way to compare is to compare the 3 slams that were of full prestige for the men both then and now. Since we dont know how to fairly compare the Australian which is not fair to compare players from them as during those years it was not a prestigious event that was played by top players often.

I don't like doing this because it opens up too many "what if" arguments. For example:

What is more prestigious?? Wimbledon pre or post 2000?? There are many that will say Fed's 5 wimbledons in a row "don't really count" because Borg did it when the grass was fast and one could serve and volley.

Or, Connors 5 US Opens compared to Sampras' "count more" because he won it on 3 different surfaces as opposed to Sampras' one.

Or, as you have stated>> if Connors would have played the French during his number one years (74-78) he would have won the French. Remember, Borg won 3 French Opens in his absence along with many otther top players in that time. So should Borg's 3 French Opens really count??

What about all the years that clay courters were skipping Wimbledon? Should those years count?

superman1
07-16-2007, 09:23 PM
Comparing stats between two players of different generations is useless, if they are very close in terms of ability.

John McEnroe is the first to acknowledge that the game has gotten much deeper than ever before. It was easier to be #1 in Connors' day than in Agassi's day, and Agassi still managed 2 years at #1. When Agassi was young, he used to trounce players in the early rounds. As he got a bit older, those early rounds became increasingly difficult for him because the field was so much deeper. Doesn't mean that the greats of the past wouldn't be greats today (say that and McEnroe will get ****ed), but it does imply that they might not have achieved quite as much as they did.

drakulie
07-16-2007, 09:42 PM
^^^ Agreed. Many tournaments of the past, there were literally club players playing in the first round of tournaments.

quest01
07-16-2007, 09:43 PM
I will have to go with Agassi on this one.

old_school_tennis
07-16-2007, 11:32 PM
Tough one, but I went with Agassi due in large part to his career slam.

capriatifanatic
07-16-2007, 11:36 PM
I voted Connors easily. Agassi with the French Open is around the 15th greatest all time. Without it he would be around 25th. So that one slam is a big difference, but in no way should it put him above Connors, who is easily top 10.

realplayer
07-17-2007, 07:00 AM
Connors made much more of his career. More titles, longer no. 1, longer in the top 10, more consistent career. And he played the AO only two times, what if would have played it more.

Connors : 109 tournaments - agassi 60;
Connors: about 250 weeks no. 1 - agassi 87 weeks;
Connors : 17 seasons in top 10 in a row, Agassi 16 seasons (and with a break in between).

Why is this even a poll.

Of Connors had a better career and is the better player.

Mr Topspin
07-17-2007, 07:33 AM
IMHO Connors win this based on my subjective reasoning.

Connors won 8 slams and so did Agassi so they are tied on GS won.

Connors spent considerably longer as world no 1.

Connors won over 100 titles to Agasssi's 61.

And finally Connors was more dominant during his career and was a legitimate no 1. Agassi for all his accomplishment was always in Sampras' shadow.

CyBorg
07-17-2007, 11:14 AM
As has been said many times already - the red clay was probably Jimmy's worst surface. He had no chance of winning the French.

CyBorg
07-17-2007, 11:20 AM
Nobody is saying it a lesser slam now, but it was a lesser slam while Connors, Borg, McEnroe (partialy) were in their primes.

It was a tournament that only older guys like Newcombe and Ashe deemed worthy enough to play (after that the draws dried up significantly). Once they retired the AO lost all of its remaining lustre and was a virtual sahara until a partial recovery in '83.

The French was overloaded with talented youngsters for most of the 1970s - real clay court specialists, like Panatta, Barrazutti, Clerc, etc. The argument that they're not prestigious winners holds no water - the French Open has always been home to players who felt comfortable on dirt but were less than spectacular elsewhere. Take Gomez, take Bruguera, take Muster. All legit players on dirt.

anointedone
07-17-2007, 11:41 AM
It was a tournament that only older guys like Newcombe and Ashe deemed worthy enough to play (after that the draws dried up significantly). Once they retired the AO lost all of its remaining lustre and was a virtual sahara until a partial recovery in '83.

The French was overloaded with talented youngsters for most of the 1970s - real clay court specialists, like Panatta, Barrazutti, Clerc, etc. The argument that they're not prestigious winners holds no water - the French Open has always been home to players who felt comfortable on dirt but were less than spectacular elsewhere. Take Gomez, take Bruguera, take Muster. All legit players on dirt.

That is what I was saying. The French seems to me to have been the much more legit slam at the time, full of legitimate clay courter players of the highest quality atleast, while the Australian Open was a bit of wasteland with a couple exceptions popping up to play now and again. This was also during the time Chris O Neil and Barbara Jordan won Australian Opens on the womens side.

sandy mayer
07-18-2007, 12:13 AM
IMHO Connors win this based on my subjective reasoning.

Connors won 8 slams and so did Agassi so they are tied on GS won.

Connors spent considerably longer as world no 1.

Connors won over 100 titles to Agasssi's 61.

And finally Connors was more dominant during his career and was a legitimate no 1. Agassi for all his accomplishment was always in Sampras' shadow.

I agree and cannot see how people can seriously say Agassi had the better career, especially when you consider of agassis' 8 slams 4 are Australians. Even today most players would prefer Connors' 2 Wimbledons, 5 US and 1 Oz to Agassi's 4 Oz, 2 US, 1 Wimbledon, 1 French.

drakulie
07-18-2007, 09:41 AM
It was a tournament that only older guys like Newcombe and Ashe deemed worthy enough to play

Hmmm. They also found Wimbledon and the US Open "worthy enough to play". Does this mean those tournaments were "lesser" as well??

Additionally, Ashe won Wimbledon 5 years after he won the AO, so he was "much older" when he won that event. By the way, he was 27 when he won the AO in 70, makiing him an "older" 32 year old when he won Wimbledon.

Connors won Wimbledon the same year he won the AO and then again won Wimbledon 8 years laters. He was 22 years "old" when he won the AO.

Get over it. The winner's of the AO during the time discussed were more prestigious players than those of the one dimensional players you noted who played at the Frenchduring the same time.

CEvertFan
07-18-2007, 03:27 PM
Connors had the more successful and consistent career, but Agassi was a better player. Agassi's game was more technically sound than Connors' was. It's hard to say who would have won if they both played against one another in their primes though.

CEvertFan
07-18-2007, 03:32 PM
I agree and cannot see how people can seriously say Agassi had the better career, especially when you consider of agassis' 8 slams 4 are Australians. Even today most players would prefer Connors' 2 Wimbledons, 5 US and 1 Oz to Agassi's 4 Oz, 2 US, 1 Wimbledon, 1 French.

The Aussie Open has generated a full field for the men and women for quite a while now which makes it just as difficult to win as the other Slams and no longer makes it the forgotten Slam. The concept of Slams not being equal no longer applies like it did in the past. The surface at the AO happened to suit Agassi's game best out of all the Slam surfaces, which is why he won there more.

martin
07-18-2007, 04:00 PM
Just as difficult and more important than in the past but if you would ask the players i'm sure they all rather want to win one of the other slams. It's just simply not as important as the other slams.

anointedone
07-18-2007, 04:05 PM
The Aussie Open has generated a full field for the men and women for quite a while now which makes it just as difficult to win as the other Slams and no longer makes it the forgotten Slam. The concept of Slams not being equal no longer applies like it did in the past. The surface at the AO happened to suit Agassi's game best out of all the Slam surfaces, which is why he won there more.

I agree with that. My point wasnt about the merit of the Australian Open now, it was about its value "then". My point was that from 1976-1982, most of the prime of Borg and Connors, the Australian Open was not even regarded as a real slam back, which is reflected in the fields during that 7 year span. If the Australian Open had been regarded as a true slam event during those years, Connors and Borg would have another potential slam venue to win slams at to add to their totals. Basically Agassi won 8 slams out of 4 different slam events today, Connors won 8 slams out of 3 different real slams events then (he missed the French some years, but had 2 years playing the Australian in 74 and 75 before its value became diminished for awhile, the same two years which were probably his years of having a "real shot" at the French, so I figure that evens out).

superman1
07-18-2007, 04:07 PM
For all of Agassi's personal problems and lack of desire early in his career, he still won the Grand Slam and equalled Connors' total of 8 Slams. The Australian was just as hard to win as the other Slams when he won it; being less prestigious to tennis snobs is meaningless. He should have won that tournament several more times--it should have been the first major he won, but he just didn't want to play it. The first time he won it, he breezed past Rusedski, Rafter, Kafelnikov, and Krickstein without losing a set, then beat Sampras in 4. I don't think that is a lesser achievement.

He also might be the most popular and recognizable player ever, so that has to have some meaning. Can't go a day now without seeing him in that damn charity commercial saying "children at risk."

As for not being as dominant, it doesn't mean much to me, because they both had to deal with a different field of players. Connors overpowered guys. Agassi overpowered guys early in his career (including an aging Connors), but he couldn't get away with that when the field got stronger, he instead had to break guys down and beat them with his fitness.

hewittboy
07-18-2007, 04:42 PM
This poll should be a joke, and even more of a joke is Agassi is winning it. I am sorry but Agassi over Connors? That is so ridiculous. People Agassi may be your favorite player but Connors easily had the better career. The only thing are equal in is 8 slams, and the only way Agassi is superior is the career slam and almost everyone knows Connors would have won that in 1974had he not been banned from the French Open that year. Every other conceivable way Connors is head and shoulders better.

Even in longevity, which is one of the big trump cards for Agassi backers Connors takes him no problem. 3 Slam titles in 1974 as a 22 year old, U.S Open semis as late as 1991 as a 39 year old.

Agassi is about the 15th best player all time I would say, but Connors is probably more around 8th. It is Connors by a landslide.

As others have said Agassi was never truly the best player in the World even once in his career. Who was the best? Well in 1989 it was Becker, 1990-1991 it was Edberg, 1992 it was Courier, 1993-1999 it was Sampras, 2000 probably Safin, 2001 and 2002 it was Hewitt, 2003 to today it was Federer. Agassi was never once truly the best player in the World. Connors was the best player in the World from 1974-1976, and again in 1982.

hewittboy
07-18-2007, 04:51 PM
As for not being as dominant, it doesn't mean much to me, because they both had to deal with a different field of players. Connors overpowered guys. Agassi overpowered guys early in his career (including an aging Connors), but he couldn't get away with that when the field got stronger, he instead had to break guys down and beat them with his fitness.

How can never being dominant be "not important" to who is the greater player. It is a big part of your greatness to be dominant at some point in your career.

Different fields of players? You are absolutely right, but perhaps not in the way you are thinking. Connors faced 3 different all time greats in his prime - Borg, McEnroe, Lendl. Agassi faced only 1 - Sampras, granted that is an amazing 1 but still only 1. Connors' competition > Agassi's competition.

CyBorg
07-18-2007, 05:01 PM
Hmmm. They also found Wimbledon and the US Open "worthy enough to play". Does this mean those tournaments were "lesser" as well??

Logical fallacy.

Additionally, Ashe won Wimbledon 5 years after he won the AO, so he was "much older" when he won that event. By the way, he was 27 when he won the AO in 70, makiing him an "older" 32 year old when he won Wimbledon.

Connors won Wimbledon the same year he won the AO and then again won Wimbledon 8 years laters. He was 22 years "old" when he won the AO.

Get over it. The winner's of the AO during the time discussed were more prestigious players than those of the one dimensional players you noted who played at the Frenchduring the same time.

This is a bunch of useless verbiage. Many a poster has made thorough arguments with concrete examples, including draws. You prefer to spew a bunch of garbage with empty buzzwords like 'prestige'. Facts aren't in your favour and Arthur Ashe alone does not make your point valid, especially considering that his last exemplary season came in 1975, which was when Borg was a green teenager. But keep walking the walk if that's the way you like it.

drakulie
07-18-2007, 08:38 PM
Logical fallacy.

It was a tournament that only older guys like Newcombe and Ashe deemed worthy enough to play (after that the draws dried up significantly). Once they retired the AO lost all of its remaining lustre and was a virtual sahara until a partial recovery in '83.

The French was overloaded with talented youngsters for most of the 1970s - real clay court specialists, like Panatta, Barrazutti, Clerc, etc. The argument that they're not prestigious winners holds no water - the French Open has always been home to players who felt comfortable on dirt but were less than spectacular elsewhere. Take Gomez, take Bruguera, take Muster. All legit players on dirt.

Unfortunately for you, the only fallacy is your logic. Let's look at your previous post quoted above where you "put down" the Winners of the AO I mentioned (Ashe, Newcombe, Connors, Rosewall), and compare them to the players you mentioned Clerc, Barazutti, Panatta).

>Panatta, 1 Slam > the French Open when he was 26.
>Barazutti, zero slams.
>Clerc, zero slams.

TOTAL= 3

>Newcombe, winner of 7 slams including 3 wimbledons, 2 US Opens, and 2 AO's.
> Ashe, winner of 3 slams, including Wimbledon, US Open, and AO.
> Connors, winner of 8 slams, including 5 US Opens, 2 Wimbledons, and 1 AO.

TOTAL= 18 SLAMS, ON 3 DIFFERENT SURFACES.

You are right. Looking at it again, I guess the French was "filled with young talented players" that were more prestigious than these guys. :roll:

Facts aren't in your favour and Arthur Ashe alone does not make your point valid, especially considering that his last exemplary season came in 1975, which was when Borg was a green teenager. But keep walking the walk if that's the way you like it.

In addition, Ashe "alone" has nearly as many slams as the 6 players you noted. I don't even need to go into Connors, Newcombe, Rosewall to make my point valid. His career alone compared to the 6 players you mentioned blows your argument out of the water. By the way, where could I find the "exemplary" seasons of Clerc, Barzutti, and Panatta?? I can't seem to find them. LMAO!

superman1
07-18-2007, 11:21 PM
Different fields of players? You are absolutely right, but perhaps not in the way you are thinking. Connors faced 3 different all time greats in his prime-Borg, McEnroe, Lendl. Agassi faced only 1-Sampras. Connors field>Agassi
field

Definitely. The top 10 in the 80's was one of the strongest ever. But did Connors have to play those 3 guys in every single tournament? I'm talking about depth, here.

Agassi beat Becker, McEnroe, and Ivanisevic to win Wimbledon. Connors beat Kodes, Stockton, and 42 year-old Ken Rosewall.

I'm not saying that Agassi is definitely greater than Connors, but you have to admit that there is an argument. It's not a ridiculous assertion. The only way we would know is if the two switched places and played in each other's field.

Wawa
07-19-2007, 12:43 AM
head to head Connors 0-2 Agassi
so i voted for agassi!

martin
07-19-2007, 01:34 AM
head to head Connors 0-2 Agassi
so i voted for agassi!

This is such a stupid comment!. Connors was 36 and 37 when he lost those matches. He needed an infusion after every match because he was too old and still Agassi needed five sets to win and it's nonsense to say that Agassi tanked a set. There's no proof whatsoever.

superman1
07-19-2007, 02:44 AM
Well, the first time they played ("he's a punk, you're a legend!"), Agassi won in straights. Then the second time, the consensus seems to be that Agassi tanked on purpose, because he actually said it to his box during the match. Some commentators have said this as if was a fact, I think during the Agassi/Blake match. I haven't seen the '88 match so I don't know. Agassi was probably just trying to out-ego Connors.

Anyway, Agassi was green and Connors was old, so it doesn't matter.

Clips always help. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu7Ow2n-dMw Man, what a f'ing awesome match.

drakulie
07-19-2007, 06:50 AM
This is such a stupid comment!. Connors was 36 and 37 when he lost those matches. He needed an infusion after every match because he was too old and still Agassi needed five sets to win and it's nonsense to say that Agassi tanked a set. There's no proof whatsoever.

Why would that be a "stupid comment"? If that is a stupid comment because Connors was much older than Agassi, then that would mean someone saying, "Jimmy Connors has 8 grand slams", is an "equally stupid comment". I will remind you two of his grand slam victories came over over Ken Rosewall in 74 at Wimbeldon and US Open. Ken Rosewall was 40 and Connors 22. Does this mean you consider Connors to only have "really won 6 slams"??

And how many "older players" did Connors beat to achieve all the records people are glorifying in this very same thread? Should we go back and not count all those mathces?

bluegrasser
07-19-2007, 06:56 AM
I call it a dead heat - both in their prime they'd go 50/50 IMHO. - I'd say Connors over the course of a whole career was stronger mentally.

Benhur
07-19-2007, 07:07 AM
Head to head is completely meanigless between two players that are 18 years apart (that's about three generations in tennis). Clearly Connors had a MUCH more impressive and dominant career, no matter how you look at it. Speculation about who would have beaten whom and with what raquets is also rather idle in comparison with the hard facts of their respective records. Connors was clearly a better player.

paterson
07-19-2007, 07:41 AM
Connors successfully defended a Grand Slam title only once in his career.
Jimbo had losing records H2H against Borg (8-13), McEnroe(14-20) and Lendl (13-22). Hardly dominant.

CyBorg
07-19-2007, 07:47 AM
Unfortunately for you, the only fallacy is your logic. Let's look at your previous post quoted above where you "put down" the Winners of the AO I mentioned (Ashe, Newcombe, Connors, Rosewall), and compare them to the players you mentioned Clerc, Barazutti, Panatta).

>Panatta, 1 Slam > the French Open when he was 26.
>Barazutti, zero slams.
>Clerc, zero slams.

TOTAL= 3

>Newcombe, winner of 7 slams including 3 wimbledons, 2 US Opens, and 2 AO's.
> Ashe, winner of 3 slams, including Wimbledon, US Open, and AO.
> Connors, winner of 8 slams, including 5 US Opens, 2 Wimbledons, and 1 AO.

TOTAL= 18 SLAMS, ON 3 DIFFERENT SURFACES.

You are right. Looking at it again, I guess the French was "filled with young talented players" that were more prestigious than these guys. :roll:



In addition, Ashe "alone" has nearly as many slams as the 6 players you noted. I don't even need to go into Connors, Newcombe, Rosewall to make my point valid. His career alone compared to the 6 players you mentioned blows your argument out of the water. By the way, where could I find the "exemplary" seasons of Clerc, Barzutti, and Panatta?? I can't seem to find them. LMAO!

Obviously a trolling and baiting post. Using this logic one could posit that a tournament like San Jose was prestiguous due to the fact that Agassi, Chang and Sampras won it in many years. In reality, they were there and dominated weak competition.

It's obviously no use arguing with you. You've already proven that you're ignorant about clay, you pay no attention to 128 and 64-man draws and apparently you would also consider the 2004 French Open to be less prestigious than Dubai in the same year - the former won by Gaston Gaudio and the latter by the great Roger Federer.

The great fallacy is in arguing prestige by looking at the winners only, rather than the quality of the draws in full. Frankly I don't think you are interested in making a coherent argument. You're just in this to **** people off.

Whatever makes your day, mate.

drakulie
07-19-2007, 07:56 AM
The great fallacy is in arguing prestige by looking at the winners only,


Keep trying. One day, you will convince us all that Clerc, Barazutti, and Panatta had greater careers than that of Ashe, Newcombe, Connors. I suppose we should look at all the losers (like the ones you mentioned) of tournaments to determine "difficulty of draws" and whether or not a particular tournament should count or not. LMAO.

CyBorg
07-19-2007, 08:04 AM
Keep trying. One day, you will convince us all that Clerc, Barazutti, and Panatta had greater careers than that of Ashe, Newcombe, Connors. I suppose we should look at all the losers (like the ones you mentioned) of tournaments to determine "difficulty of draws" and whether or not a particular tournament should count or not. LMAO.

Who's 'us'? Maybe these esteemed individuals would like to drop by and make a detailed case for the Australian Open? I would enjoy that.

Benhur
07-19-2007, 08:05 AM
Connors successfully defended a Grand Slam title only once in his career.
Jimbo had losing records H2H against Borg (8-13), McEnroe(14-20) and Lendl (13-22). Hardly dominant.

Connors was ranked number one in the world 268weeks and won 105 single titles. Borg and Mac are not even remotely close to those numbers. In fact, no other player in history except Lendl (270 wks as #1 and 94 titles) comes close to such numbers.

(Sampras had 5 more months as #1 than Connors, but nearly half the number of titles.)

All in all, it looks pretty impressive to me.

CyBorg
07-19-2007, 08:11 AM
Connors was ranked number one in the world 268weeks and won 105 single titles. Borg and Mac are not even remotely close to those numbers. In fact, no other player in history except Lendl (270 wks as #1 and 94 titles) comes close to such numbers.

(Sampras had 5 more months as #1 than Connors, but nearly half the number of titles.)

All in all, it looks pretty impressive to me.

I think that Connors' ranking was frequently questionable. He padded it big time by playing in weak tourneys that, at the time, counted for something. How he managed to maintain the #1 ranking in 1977 despite not winning a major and getting outclassed by Vilas and Borg is truly incredible and is worthy of a thorough analysis. Of course it helped that at the time the rankings were based on cumulative years, rather than one fiscal year.

A much more representative ranking was compiled by tennis journalists at the end of each year. It was much less generous to Connors.

Regardless I much prefer Jimmy to Agassi. Andre would not have won Wimbledon in Jimmy's era and he wouldn't even sniff the RG crown.

martin
07-19-2007, 08:17 AM
Connors successfully defended a Grand Slam title only once in his career.
Jimbo had losing records H2H against Borg (8-13), McEnroe(14-20) and Lendl (13-22). Hardly dominant.

Borg was an exceptional talent. Much better than Agassi. A losing record against Borg is not so bad. Connors was dominating Mcenroe till 1984 but as Connors was aging and Mcenroe got in his prime Mcenroe started to dominate Connors. And guess what a coincidence. Lendl started to dominate Connors around 1984 too.!!! Maybe it has something to do with age!!!! .
Connors was still good but certainly not as good anymore.

drakulie
07-19-2007, 08:20 AM
Who's 'us'? Maybe these esteemed individuals would like to drop by and make a detailed case for the Australian Open? I would enjoy that.

Perhaps these same individuals, like you, "would like to drop by and make a detalied case" for the one dimensional players you noted who won one major between the three of them as being greater players than Connors, Ashe, Newcombe, etc.

Like I said, one day YOU will convince us all that Clerc, Barazutti, Panatta had prestiogious careers, and Necombe, Connors, Ashe, Rosewall didn't. LMAO!

Benhur
07-19-2007, 08:42 AM
I think that Connors' ranking was frequently questionable. He padded it big time by playing in weak tourneys that, at the time, counted for something. How he managed to maintain the #1 ranking in 1977 despite not winning a major and getting outclassed by Vilas and Borg is truly incredible and is worthy of a thorough analysis. Of course it helped that at the time the rankings were based on cumulative years, rather than one fiscal year.

A much more representative ranking was compiled by tennis journalists at the end of each year. It was much less generous to Connors.

Regardless I much prefer Jimmy to Agassi. Andre would not have won Wimbledon in Jimmy's era and he wouldn't even sniff the RG crown.

No question Jimbo is far above Agassi. I should add I was no fan of either. Ever. But his record is hard to argue with.

Of course the ranking system may have been different in the 70s, but it was the same for all players of that era, and we should assume that if Connors kept showing up on top he must have been doing something. Same with the tournaments. Getting points for entering "weak" tournaments was not a privilege restricted to Connors - all players could do the same. As a matter of fact, players can still get points for entering weak tournaments. My pointis that if we begin to dismiss the ranking system, number of tournaments, number of GSs etc as more or less meaningless because of their being not quite the same or having quite the same prestige accross all eras, we soon are left with nothing on which to ground our judgement except purely subjective pronouncements: Such and such was better than such and such because I believe so. The record is far from perfect but it is all we have. And Connors era is not that far back at all to render comparisons meaningless. I repeat, I never liked him very much, but I acknowledge he was a great player. Far better than Agassi in any case.

Moose Malloy
07-19-2007, 09:22 AM
Of course it helped that at the time the rankings were based on cumulative years, rather than one fiscal year.


Is this true? I've been unable to find anyone who knows how exactly the computer ranking worked back then (if urban doesn't know, I'm not sure if anyone does)
Your reasoning makes sense, I've tried to allocate points & averages to some of the #1's of the 70s & can't come up with a reasonable explanation of how Connors was #1 some of those years. Off course the atp actually gave their 'player of the year' award one year to Borg, even though their computer gave Connors the #1, which is very telling.

Regardless of the questions concerning Connors' time at #1, there can be no doubt that he spent far more time as a true top 3/5 guy than Agassi.

Here are the numbers:

Years in the top 3
Connors 12
Agassi 6

Years in the top 5
Connors 14
Agassi 8

They have the same number of years in the top 10, but Agassi spent most of his years between 6-10(which certainly contradicts those that think his career was hurt by overlapping with Sampras, most years he was nowhere near Sampras in the rankings) while Connors was between 1-5 most years he was in the top 10, which is more impressive in my book. Longevity is one thing, but his longevity was spent at the very top, he wasn't some old dude who stuck around for sh**s & giggles(until his later years, which are so famous that many may have incorrect assumption on the majority of his career) Many players had a higher peak(1-2 years) than Connors, but no one played it at a higher level consistently for longer than him.

also SgtJohn made a thread about masters series type events that were won by the generation before 1990 & Connors did quite well in that stat- won 18 of these, so his title count isn't as padded with 'weak' events as some may think.
His '74 campaign may be overrated(due to him not playing WCT, and facing a tired Rosewall instead of Newcombe or Smith in 2 major finals), but his '82 campaign is underrated(beating much younger #1 Mac & Lendl in slam finals at the age of 30 is pretty remarkable), so it balances out. Heck, its pretty amazing that his 2 best years were 8 years apart, & again goes back to his remarkable consistency at the top, he didn't take time off during his best years like Agassi.

also, to anointedone, Connors' official title count is 109, not 105, the atp is a little inconsistent/incomplete/inaccurate(I've noticed they even have incorrect scores on many matches from the 70s) with titles won by players from the 70s(totals for Borg, Mac, Nastase, etc are also too low) Bud Collins' total tennis is more accurate than they are. Even Connors bio on the HOF website says he had 109 titles, not 105.

CyBorg
07-19-2007, 11:09 AM
Is this true? I've been unable to find anyone who knows how exactly the computer ranking worked back then (if urban doesn't know, I'm not sure if anyone does)
Your reasoning makes sense, I've tried to allocate points & averages to some of the #1's of the 70s & can't come up with a reasonable explanation of how Connors was #1 some of those years.

Yeah - I'm pretty sure it's cumulative. I read that a number of times, without ever finding a detailed explanation. I think that Connors carried 1974 with him for a number of years (I think that the rankings included three-year results). Then again, my memory might be fuzzy.

Regardless of the questions concerning Connors' time at #1, there can be no doubt that he spent far more time as a true top 3/5 guy than Agassi.

Yeah, Agassi could never muster much more than a year's worth of dominance. After winning the US Open in 94 he got pretty hot but started to come back to earth after losing to Pete a year later. Then he won 3 out of the 4 majors in 99-00, but then didn't win a tourney for a year after Aussie in 00. After AO '01, Andre was consistent but seldom dominant.

also SgtJohn made a thread about masters series type events that were won by the generation before 1990 & Connors did quite well in that stat- won 18 of these, so his title count isn't as padded with 'weak' events as some may think.

His 100+ titles is a pretty padded number, but that doesn't mean Jimmy wasn't legit. You can't draw 8 majors out of a hat. That's for sure.

His '74 campaign may be overrated(due to him not playing WCT, and facing a tired Rosewall instead of Newcombe or Smith in 2 major finals), but his '82 campaign is underrated(beating much younger #1 Mac & Lendl in slam finals at the age of 30 is pretty remarkable), so it balances out. Heck, its pretty amazing that his 2 best years were 8 years apart, & again goes back to his remarkable consistency at the top, he didn't take time off during his best years like Agassi.

Yeah - good points. I respect Jimmy lots for his 82 campaign.[/QUOTE]

drakulie
07-19-2007, 12:53 PM
Of course the ranking system may have been different in the 70s, but it was the same for all players of that era, and we should assume that if Connors kept showing up on top he must have been doing something. Same with the tournaments. Getting points for entering "weak" tournaments was not a privilege restricted to Connors - all players could do the same. As a matter of fact, players can still get points for entering weak tournaments. My pointis that if we begin to dismiss the ranking system, number of tournaments, number of GSs etc as more or less meaningless because of their being not quite the same or having quite the same prestige accross all eras, we soon are left with nothing on which to ground our judgement except purely subjective pronouncements: Such and such was better than such and such because I believe so. The record is far from perfect but it is all we have. And Connors era is not that far back at all to render comparisons meaningless.

Great post. This is what I have been arguing tooth and nail, and it's not that people don't get this>>>> they simply like to restrict certain tourneys, years, competition, etc in an attempt to enhance their argument that "X" player was better than "Y" player because "blah,blah, blah" happened.

superman1
07-19-2007, 02:38 PM
His 100+ titles is a pretty padded number, but that doesn't mean Jimmy wasn't legit. You can't draw 8 majors out of a hat. That's for sure.

*cough *cough *cough

Who else has 8 majors?

Kind of ridiculous to say that Agassi wouldn't have done well in Connors' era, or vice versa. How do we know?

How many weak tournaments did Agassi win to pad his resume and boost his ranking? He was in the top ten a couple years ago and he didn't even play much. That was the year that everyone thought he'd retire in because he walked off the court in horrible pain in the middle of the year. Still gave Federer a hell of a match after that, though.

Moose Malloy
07-19-2007, 04:23 PM
came across these stats from hops' site:

consecutive weeks in the top 5

#1-Connors 659 weeks from Sept '73 to May '86

that's pretty amazing. rest of the list:Lendl, Sampras, McEnroe, Borg, Edberg, Federer, Becker, Wilander, Courier. Don't know where Agassi is on it, but he spent only spent 443 weeks total in the top 5.

consecutive weeks in the top 10

#1-Connors 788 weeks August '73 to September '88
The longest streak Agassi ever had in the top 10 was 268 weeks.

http://www.tennis28.com/rankings/cons_weeks_top5etal.html

hewittboy
07-19-2007, 04:25 PM
In fairness to Agassi he had some periods his ranking was affected by injury. He did have periods his ranking was affected by substandard play too, but others it was affected by injury.

CyBorg
07-19-2007, 04:43 PM
How many weak tournaments did Agassi win to pad his resume and boost his ranking? He was in the top ten a couple years ago and he didn't even play much. That was the year that everyone thought he'd retire in because he walked off the court in horrible pain in the middle of the year. Still gave Federer a hell of a match after that, though.

All of Andre's majors are legit. I say that even though I felt like **** when he won the French Open because I thought that his draw was lightweight.

I have no problem with the Aussies - it's been a good tournament for at least 15 years straight now - maybe 20.

Connors had a more consistent career, however, and had longer dominant stretches. I also prefer his competition to Andre's.

superman1
07-19-2007, 05:36 PM
Fair enough. I need to watch more of Connors. Actually, screw Connors, I want to get a hold of some Borg matches from the French Open.

Tennis old man
04-21-2008, 03:52 PM
Like I said in the other thread, Connors.

bluegrasser
04-22-2008, 05:29 AM
This is a tough call, on one hand Agassi won the French, but with Connors winning 105 tournaments - that to me gives him a very small edge.

thalivest
04-22-2008, 08:00 AM
Lets see:

Consistency- Connors by such an enormous margin you couldnt put it into words. Such an enormous margin you could almost stop right here to who is the greater player.

Longevity- Connors still wins here, despite that this an area Agassi is also amazing.

Dominance- Connors clearly wins here. His 1974 year was more dominant then any Agassi has had including 1999. His 1982 was in some ways too since he beat all the best players, and Agassi won the U.S Open in 1999 with heavy favorite Sampras out with injury.

Strength of competition- Connors again. Agassi had Sampras of course, "arguably" harder then any one Connors opponent. However Connors had more depth of competition with Borg, Vilas, and Newcombe early on, then later Borg, McEnroe, Vilas, and further on McEnroe, Lendl, and Wilander.

Versatility- Agassi gets this due to his career slam, and impressive records at both Wimbledon and the French, which Connors at the French does not even come close to the years he played anyway. Further presumption is fun speculation, but really just a guess since he didnt play on European clay much in those years he missed the French.

Overall- Connors should get it by a clear margin.

paterson
04-22-2008, 09:34 AM
I disagree with the strength of competition.

McEnroe/Borg/Connors looks like pre-history compared to Agassi/Sampras.

Agassi would have beaten Connors with wood. His game is too fundamentally sound enough that his shots would be too penetrating.

thalivest
04-22-2008, 09:43 AM
Connors always had atleast 3 all time greats close to their prime to battle. Agassi rarely had more then 1, even if it was Sampras.

Also even if good Agassi were to be better then good Connors, Agassi was only the good version of Agassi about 15% of his prime potential years, while Connors was the good Connors for all of his. Except for about a year period in the mid 90s he didnt start commiting and focusing on tennis full out until he was almost too old to really be maxed out in his play any longer. People talk about Agassi not doing well vs Federer, Hewitt, and Nadal "past his prime" but the question is did he really have much of a prime. I guess you could say his prime years were 95 and 99 so not much of a prime with only 2 years of it compared to Connors whose prime lasted a 10 year span of 74 all the way through 83.

Obviously both are great players, among the 15 best in history. Connors is just the better of the two, even if Agassi probably had the potential to be the better of the two it never panned out enough.

Tshooter
04-22-2008, 04:04 PM
Without a doubt Connors.

The Poll will be skewed simply due to age reasons (of both the board and Connors).

I'd also take exception with this statement "inferior to other greats he faced such as Borg, McEnroe and Lendl."

He is clearly better than Lendl. And I'd put him in front of the others two as well. Probably saw the four play live 50+ times.

thalivest
04-22-2008, 04:12 PM
Without a doubt Connors.

The Poll will be skewed simply due to age reasons (of both the board and Connors).

I'd also take exception with this statement "inferior to other greats he faced such as Borg, McEnroe and Lendl."

He is clearly better than Lendl. And I'd put him in front of the others two as well. Probably saw the four play live 50+ times.

Connors vs Lendl or McEnroe is an interesting debate. However I have absolutely no idea how you could put put Connors over Borg.

Vision84
04-22-2008, 05:06 PM
Arguments saying Connors is better cause he won this many tournaments etc are useless. They played in 2 completely different generations and the field was far deeper for Agassi than it was in the 70s for Connors. I hate comparing players in terms of who is better across different generations. Far to many variables and doing so is just a waste of time and has no clear answer unless you get some kind of pleasure arguing over it.

With that said I still voted for Agassi cause he had to deal with a much greate competetion and watching both play on tv Agassi just seems like the better player but who knows what Connors would have been like if he existed in the 90s with more modern technique and equipment.

Tshooter
04-22-2008, 06:46 PM
"However I have absolutely no idea how you could put put Connors over Borg."

Probably because we are somewhat more influenced when we see a beating live.

And each time I saw them play at the USO ('75, '77 and '78) Connors beat him handily. So in my memory, it's always Connors spanking Borg in a big time match. Probably if I saw the W matches live they would have made a bigger impression. Anyway, I said "probably put him in front of the other two." Borg would be a close call. I can see people making the opposite call.

Rabbit
04-22-2008, 07:56 PM
I disagree with the strength of competition.

McEnroe/Borg/Connors looks like pre-history compared to Agassi/Sampras.

Agassi would have beaten Connors with wood. His game is too fundamentally sound enough that his shots would be too penetrating.

And Connors wasn't fundamentally sound? Jimmy Connors was/is/and always will be the defactor standard for footwork. The guy was always in position to hit a ball, forehand or backhand. He was called mechanical because his strokes were always the same. Why were his strokes always the same? Because of his feet. And, Connors was a better tactician than Agassi, he knew how to finish points at the net and he knew how to get to net. He was an all court player.

Agassi beat Connors with wood? Now there's a stretch. Agassi was a great ball striker, no doubt. Could Agassi have returned with a racket the size of a T2000 as well as Connors? Somehow I doubt it. Connors proved he could with with a little frame or a big frame. And, again, the way to win with wood from Borg to Laver was.....to get to net. Connors had no problems coming to net and was good when he got there (not great like Laver-McEnroe, but better than today's crop for sure) and certainly more at home than Agassi at net. Connors was hands down a better player from areas other than the baseline.

"However I have absolutely no idea how you could put put Connors over Borg."

Probably because we are somewhat more influenced when we see a beating live.

And each time I saw them play at the USO ('75, '77 and '78) Connors beat him handily. So in my memory, it's always Connors spanking Borg in a big time match. Probably if I saw the W matches live they would have made a bigger impression. Anyway, I said "probably put him in front of the other two." Borg would be a close call. I can see people making the opposite call.

Yeah, well Borg was better than Connors. Borg owned Connors everywhere but the US Open. And even at the Open, Connors was 3 - 1 against Borg with Borg winning their last meeting. On the flip side, Borg was 4-0 against Connors at Wimbledon and 2 - 1 against Connors in the Masters. It is well known that Connors played every match like it was his last and Borg didn't care about anything but Slams, so the smaller tournament records don't figure into this as far as I'm concerned.

Look at it this way, if it had been the other way around, it would have been Borg who said "I'll follow him to the ends of the earth..." as it turned out, Connors uttered those words.


With regard to the OP. I think due to his unswerving dedication to the game, his longevity at the top, his return from a wrist injury that could have written him out of the game, his tournament record, and number of weeks at number 1 -> Jimmy Connors was the better player.

He transitioned his game from the wood era to the oversized era. He beat guys almost half his age, he dominated the game, was written off, and came back to dominate again, and he had a more complete game than Agassi.

I don't even agree that Agassi was a better ball striker than Connors. I also don't think Agassi was a better all-surface player than Connors. Connors was banned from the French in '74 for a bogus reason and that he probably would have won the French and that he made the semis 4 times versus Agassi 5, I don't see where Agassi has a real decisive edge on Connors on clay.

All surface player? Do we forget that Connors won the US Open on 3 distinctly different surfaces?

I also reject in hand the notion that Connors didn't have the competiton at top that Agassi did. Connors started his career against the aging Aussie greats Laver, Rosewall and Newcombe; all of whom were capable of winning a Grand Slam as evidenced by Rosewall and Newcombe. Laver was certainly still competitive. Connors transitioned from those guys to Nastase and Borg and then to McEnroe and Lendl and wound up playing against Agassi, Sampras and Courier. Agassi basically went from Sampras and Courier to Federer. In Connors heyday, the early rounds may have been easier, but from the QF's up it was a battle royal, a cage match, a fight to the death.

All in all, I think Connors was the better player and I consider myself a fan of both guys.

Zimbo
04-22-2008, 08:11 PM
I disagree with the strength of competition.

McEnroe/Borg/Connors looks like pre-history compared to Agassi/Sampras.

Agassi would have beaten Connors with wood. His game is too fundamentally sound enough that his shots would be too penetrating.

Agassi beating connors with wood is a pretty bold statement. Maybe, maybe not. One thing for sure, if Agassi played with wood he won't be able to take huge swings at the ball. Because of that I'm pretty sure his game would be different. Agassi stated many times he would have a hard time playing with a middle size racquet let alone a small woodie.

Ultra2HolyGrail
04-22-2008, 08:23 PM
Agassi had much more power from the baseline and returns and serves. Overall though connors did have more game. His two hander was incredible and so was his footwork. But both at their best Agassi wins.

thalivest
04-22-2008, 08:54 PM
Well for me it is clearly:

Borg > Connors > Agassi

if you are putting those 3 in order. All 3 are great players, at worst all top 15 all time. Being the worst of those 3 is no shame and that guy is still one heck of a player. However if I had to rate those 3 that would be my order and I wouldnt even think twice about it. To me it isnt even really tough to rank them in that order. I basically agree with everything on Rabbits post, except maybe the clay court part but I even see where he is coming from there.

Tshooter
04-22-2008, 08:59 PM
"And even at the Open, Connors was 3 - 1 against Borg with Borg winning their last meeting."

The last meeting Connors was what 30? Past his prime. Anyway, I just can't say Borg was better when every time I saw them in a big match Connors stomped him. I too give no weight to the small time events. Borg was great though. French/W back to back, 3 years in a row. Let's see Fed or Nadal do it even once.

chaognosis
04-22-2008, 09:39 PM
A little surprised by the result here. This one, I think, should not even be close.

Connors.

Rabbit
04-23-2008, 03:10 AM
"And even at the Open, Connors was 3 - 1 against Borg with Borg winning their last meeting."

The last meeting Connors was what 30? Past his prime. Anyway, I just can't say Borg was better when every time I saw them in a big match Connors stomped him. I too give no weight to the small time events. Borg was great though. French/W back to back, 3 years in a row. Let's see Fed or Nadal do it even once.

Well, but hold on....

Connors won Wimbledon in '82, was a finalist in '84, semifinalist in '85 and '87.

At the Open, he made the semis in '91, quarters in '89 and '88, semis in '87 and '85 and '84, won it in '83 and '82 and semis in '81.

He also made the quarters of Roland Garros in '87, semis in '85, and '84, quarters in '83 and '82 and '81.

All this when he was "past his prime"?

No doubt, Connors and the Open were made for each other. I do have to wonder why you boycotted viewing Wimbledon though:

Wimbledon results
In 1979, Borg d Connors 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
In 1978, Borg d Connors 6-2, 6-2, 6-3

US Open
In 1978, Connors d Borg 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 (which is one game worse than Borg spanked Connors three months earlier and wan't Borg injured for this match? His thumb?)

Other than that, Connors' only other straight sets victory at the Open over Borg was in 1975 and it wasn't a spanking 7-5, 7-5, 7-5.

To be fair, 77 and 81 were both 5 setters, but it would appear Borg got his revenge at Wimbledon.

All this when he was allegedly pat his prime? You wanna rethink this? :)

I wholeheartedly agree that Borg was/is/and will always be the undisputed King of Clay until someone equals him. I will further predict that Nads doesn't win Roland Garros this year.


I also agree Borg > Connors > Agassi

paolo2143
04-23-2008, 09:23 AM
sorry ts shooter have to disagree strongly every time i seen borg play connors he beat him every time and was 4-0 up at wimbledon and won about 13 of their last 17 matches borg clearly had connors number although connors was a great player

Tshooter
05-02-2008, 10:16 PM
"I do have to wonder why you boycotted viewing Wimbledon though:"

Because I was too young to board a plane and go see it. I didn't mean to suggest I didn't watch it. I meant not live. The matches always have more of an impact that you see live. At least for me they do.

The first match I was lucky enough to see at W was Curren kicking the c$$$ out of JMac. Some unknown upset Curren in the final. Think his name was Becker or something like that. They used to let you stand just off the center court. So I got a good view of JMac with a deer in the headlights look everytime Curren blasted an ace past him.
I love that tournament.

PS, yes at 30 I believe Connors was past his prime. Just like every other player I've ever seen. Which doesn't mean he couldn't make quarters and semis.
On your Nadel prediction, you could probably get very good odds. I like most of the rest of the tennis world will put my money on Nadal. Nadal is a great tennis player on any surface but on Clay he can make a run at Borg.

Leelord337
05-03-2008, 12:30 AM
I voted for Jimbo simply because he has the most titles in ATP history, 105, where agassi has a mere 60, :P, they're both hall of famers though.

but...when they played each other Agassi won both times so it is a conundrum http://www.atptennis.com/3/en/players/headtohead/?player1=Connors%2C+Jimmy&player2=andre+agassi

and connors did bagel agassi when he was 37 years old which was amazing...so connors for sure

SquashPlayer
05-03-2008, 05:24 AM
I was a big Connors fan from the 70s onward until the end,
I was at the Haarhus quarterfinal at the Open when Connors
as 39. Later, I came to think of Connors as a bit of an idiot.

Looking at Connors vs. Agassi, I'm struck by the fact that in
Connors era, a game with such flaws as no aces or velocity on
the serve, a very poor forehand approach, flat balls, back to
front strokes, still allowed him to be a top player in the game.

The game evolved into a more demanding one, and that's where
Agassi was slugging it out.

Connors had a more impressive career, Agassi is the better player.

- SquashPlayer

CyBorg
05-03-2008, 09:42 AM
Connors made an insane amount of grand slam semifinals. Unfortunately this kind of information is less apparent unless one really looks closely at the results.

Connors also never had any real off years until way past his 30th birthday, while Agassi had more than one.

Babb
05-03-2008, 09:49 AM
After starting to get into tennis, it was a while before I even knew who Jimmy Connors was. But before I started playing the sport myself, I knew who Agassi was.

This is a slightly unfair comparison because I started playing tennis in Agassi's final-ish years, but still.

Agassi is a more familiar name to me than Connors, so I picked Agassi.

matchmaker
05-04-2008, 08:02 AM
I think Connors in his time was better than Agassi in his time. But Agassi has off course this incredible story around his carreer. Fallen back to about number 1000 coming back to win a lot of majors.

Anyway we can only guess who would have won if they played eachother in their prime. I would go with Agassi because his game is far more powerful than Connors.

Holdfast44ID
05-04-2008, 08:48 PM
I think Agassi was a better player. Agassi had more natural talent and played in an era when overall talent and depth in the game started to increase. The amount of titles won means less when you compare different eras. The competition for Agassi was tougher than the competition for the previous era. Agassi did mature as a player and, at his best, I'd say Agassi had a better forehand, backhand, serve, and (arguably) better return. Connors may have had a better will to scrap his way to victory.

Off topic a little, I think Agassi really matured as a person. Sure, he had his immature times as a junior and during his early years as a pro, and during personal issues that showed on the court, but left the game as someone who wanted to give to the sport and help others via charities, etc. Jimmy, on the other hand, still might not make for a good next door neighbor... lol.

CyBorg
05-04-2008, 09:11 PM
I think Agassi was a better player. Agassi had more natural talent and played in an era when overall talent and depth in the game started to increase. The amount of titles won means less when you compare different eras. The competition for Agassi was tougher than the competition for the previous era. Agassi did mature as a player and, at his best, I'd say Agassi had a better forehand, backhand, serve, and (arguably) better return. Connors may have had a better will to scrap his way to victory.

Off topic a little, I think Agassi really matured as a person. Sure, he had his immature times as a junior and during his early years as a pro, and during personal issues that showed on the court, but left the game as someone who wanted to give to the sport and help others via charities, etc. Jimmy, on the other hand, still might not make for a good next door neighbor... lol.

Hi, Phil Agassi. How was your day?

Arafel
05-05-2008, 07:34 AM
I think Agassi was a better player. Agassi had more natural talent and played in an era when overall talent and depth in the game started to increase. The amount of titles won means less when you compare different eras. The competition for Agassi was tougher than the competition for the previous era. Agassi did mature as a player and, at his best, I'd say Agassi had a better forehand, backhand, serve, and (arguably) better return. Connors may have had a better will to scrap his way to victory.


How do you figure this? Connors competed against Borg, McEnroe, and Lendl, three players who all rank in the top 10 of all time, easily. Agassi had Sampras. There were some very good players in Agassi's time (which I would technically end in 2000, as far as realistic chances to win a Slam, just like for Connors it ended in 84). Agassi competed against Courier, Martin, Rafter, Kafelnikov, Chang etc., but I don't think anybody would compare them to Borg, McEnroe and Lendl.

There may have been a little more depth in Agassi's time, though I think that is also arguable, but in terms of top players, Connors had it harder than Agassi.

chaognosis
05-05-2008, 11:00 AM
There were some very good players in Agassi's time (which I would technically end in 2000, as far as realistic chances to win a Slam, just like for Connors it ended in 84).

Um, do you mean "realistic chances" to win a THE true (calendar-year) Grand Slam, or "realistic chances" to win a single Grand Slam tournament? If you mean the former, then IMHO Agassi never had a realistic chance; if the latter... well, er, Agassi DID go on to win the Australian Open in 2001 and 2003.

superman1
05-05-2008, 04:18 PM
As time goes on, the legend grows. I don't know who the better player was, but I'm certain that despite the superstar Connors was, people will just have fonder memories of Agassi as the years go by. Maybe in the year 2030 you old farts will be defending Agassi over the new guys, saying Agassi's era was so much tougher, technology was less, etc.

Holdfast44ID
05-11-2008, 12:45 AM
I, again, say Agassi was the better player. More naturally gifted/talented. Regardless of titles won, just look at how Agassi hit the ball off both wings...
Also, I'm talking about them in terms of skill, not titles won. What if Federer just came on the scene, played his best, and won 7 slams in two years, then had an accident and never played again? Are you going to then judge by titles or skill? IE: Who is the better player if they played eachother in their prime? I'd say Agassi.

On the other hand, I'd have to say Jimmy Connors is better than anyone in the history of tennis if everyone had to play with that CRAPPY Wilson T2000 metal tennis racquet! I'd rather play with an old Jack Kramer wood racquet than that thing.

illusions30
10-19-2013, 06:18 PM
Connors is the greater player.

Agassi at his best is the better one.

90's Clay
10-19-2013, 07:38 PM
Connors is the greater player.

Agassi at his best is the better one.

I would have to go with this. Peak wise there wasn't too many better players than Andre. Career wise he could have done a bit more. But he had some MIA sessions and unfortunately, he was born at around the same time as Sampras as well

illusions30
10-19-2013, 07:45 PM
I would have to go with this. Peak wise there wasn't too many better players than Andre. Career wise he could have done a bit more. But he had some MIA sessions and unfortunately, he was born at around the same time as Sampras as well

There was a point in time some considered Agassi to have the best return of serve, best backhand, and best forehand (pre Nadal and Federer) ever. That is pretty amazing, he was considered the best of all time at about half the shots in tennis at one point. It shows his amazing talent.

He was a triple victim of three things. His own lack of dedication in his physical prime years, of Sampras at his peak who even though he isnt the GOAT was probably the toughest ever to beat at his best on all medium to fast courts in his prime, and his poor decision to not play the Australian pre 95which probably cost him atleast 2 additional slams.

big ted
10-19-2013, 11:47 PM
i would probably choose connors because he was so mentally tougher. agassi seemed much more frail

degrease
10-19-2013, 11:59 PM
As agassi himself said each generation gets better. Agassi would have rather easily handled connors if both used modern equipment. The different in their forehands is ridiculous. Connors won loads of tournaments but not that many slams. It bit like the womens game where the frequency of tournaments affect rating

timnz
10-20-2013, 01:49 AM
Both Agassi and Connors have "tier two" status below the greats of the game. Connors is overrated. He was not quite the all-time immortal of tennis which some paint him as. He played for a long time, won a ton of minor tournaments and his achievements are inflated because of the absurd ranking system (ranked #1 in 1975 and 1977 despite no slams in either of those years). He had 2 great years (1974 and 1982) was but clearly inferior to other greats he faced such as Borg, McEnroe and Lendl. He never won the French or even reached the final. His achievements are comparable to those of Agassi: great, but still overshadowed by others in their eras. Connors was overshadowed by Borg and McEnroe, Agassi by Sampras. The achievements of Connors and Agassi are based more on longevity than ever
truly dominating.

The 'ton of minor tournaments' thing is totally overstated by some. Connors played in 48 tournament finals that were Masters 1000 level or greater in his career (15 slam + 1 masters + 3 wct finals + 29 Masters 1000 equivalents)

jrepac
10-20-2013, 05:22 PM
As agassi himself said each generation gets better. Agassi would have rather easily handled connors if both used modern equipment. The different in their forehands is ridiculous. Connors won loads of tournaments but not that many slams. It bit like the womens game where the frequency of tournaments affect rating

they did face off versus each other using "modern equipment" both in regular tourney play and exos. With Connors being twice the age of Agassi. In NONE of these matches did Agassi "easily handle Connors". In one of their later exos, Jimmy actually played inside the baseline and beat Andre (an exo, yes, but just making a point re: skills).

So, if it were a 21 yr old Connors vs. a 21 yr old Agassi? A pretty close match but who is going to fight to the bitter end? I think everyone knows that answer.

The French final missing from Connors resume is due to the ban and self-imposed exile; everyone knows that. And, I'd put a US win on Har Tru clay against Borg a level above Andre's RG win, in terms of the quality of the win. Connors is also a much better grass player than Andre; I'll give red clay to Andre (slightly at that) and a toss up on hard courts.

Career vs. career? Agassi above Connors? No, no way in hell. At least Connors had some truly significant wins against his major rival (Borg) whereas Agassi typically collapsed against his (Sampras). Not to mention that Connors was in the Top 4 for something like 12 yrs. Andre couldn't decide if he wanted to play tennis, eat donuts, fix his hair piece or snort you know what.

Xavier G
10-22-2013, 04:43 AM
I just give Jimmy the edge, but it's close. Andre had some ups and downs, and he didn't have Jimbo's consistency, but to bounce back the way he did from his mid-career slump showed commitment. He won every big title out there, on all surfaces, had longevity, makings GS finals at 35 (old in this era) and scored some important wins over Sampras, his biggest rival.

CyBorg
10-22-2013, 08:21 AM
As agassi himself said each generation gets better. Agassi would have rather easily handled connors if both used modern equipment. The different in their forehands is ridiculous. Connors won loads of tournaments but not that many slams. It bit like the womens game where the frequency of tournaments affect rating

What rating? Do you even know what you're talking about.

jrepac
10-22-2013, 08:33 AM
I just give Jimmy the edge, but it's close. Andre had some ups and downs, and he didn't have Jimbo's consistency, but to bounce back the way he did from his mid-career slump showed commitment. He won every big title out there, on all surfaces, had longevity, makings GS finals at 35 (old in this era) and scored some important wins over Sampras, his biggest rival.

I give Andre lots of credit for the later stages of his career, but overall career assessment, I don't see how it's all that close. Skill set, head to head, it is a pretty close match up. Agassi's superior forehand, I do think is offset somewhat by Connors taking the net away from him. Off the ground, Connors backhand is stacked against Andre's forehand (since Connors is a lefty)....that's very much strength to strength. Also, re: forehand, Agassi's going to be slamming the ball....that never "hurt" Connors on the forehand side....his forehand was just fine when the ball had pace on it. And, in his prime, Connors was the more nimble player. So, the surface could easily make the difference...faster surface tips towards Jimmy and vice versa to Agassi. Lots of prime ball striking.

NLBwell
10-22-2013, 08:54 AM
As far as overall career - Connors.
As far peak play - Connors.

People forget or don't know how dominant Connors could be when he was firing on all cylinders.

Xavier G
10-22-2013, 09:58 AM
I give Andre lots of credit for the later stages of his career, but overall career assessment, I don't see how it's all that close. Skill set, head to head, it is a pretty close match up. Agassi's superior forehand, I do think is offset somewhat by Connors taking the net away from him. Off the ground, Connors backhand is stacked against Andre's forehand (since Connors is a lefty)....that's very much strength to strength. Also, re: forehand, Agassi's going to be slamming the ball....that never "hurt" Connors on the forehand side....his forehand was just fine when the ball had pace on it. And, in his prime, Connors was the more nimble player. So, the surface could easily make the difference...faster surface tips towards Jimmy and vice versa to Agassi. Lots of prime ball striking.

They both had the great return of serve as well.

I had a look at Agassi's career details to refresh my memory.

Look at these stats: both made 15 GS finals and both won 8 and lost 7. They both won 1 Masters YEC, Agassi reached more finals. Connors had 2 WCT wins, Agassi had an Olympic gold medal.
Connors has the better Wimbledon and US Open record, Agassi better French and Australian.
Connors won a GS on har-tru clay beating Borg, Agassi won on the red dirt in Paris. AA has all the big titles. Jimmy didn't play Paris 1974-78 and only played the AO twice. Agassi also won in Rome.

Andre turned pro at 16 and retired twenty years later. Roughly Jimbo's equal. I have a new-found regard for Andre's record after having looked at his stats again, though I still give Jimmy the nod. Jimbo had better consistency, an extended run at no.1, more overall titles and being a big Jimmy fan anyway.

Egoista
10-22-2013, 10:28 AM
what about Graf vs Serena

jrepac
10-22-2013, 12:06 PM
As far as overall career - Connors.
As far peak play - Connors.

People forget or don't know how dominant Connors could be when he was firing on all cylinders.

This is true; he was a very good frontrunner, even when he was pushing 40yrs old. You got a taste of that in the '91 USO QF against Harhuis...once Jimmy won the 2nd set tiebreak, he was a man on fire from there until the finish line. And then there was the '83USO final....Lendl had a lapse and Connors was on top of him, with no mercy whatsoever. He was like a shark who smelled blood.

jrepac
10-22-2013, 12:11 PM
They both had the great return of serve as well.

Jimbo had better consistency, an extended run at no.1, more overall titles and being a big Jimmy fan anyway.

The return game is pretty much a wash between those two; both are devastatingly effective in that department. Andre's stats are very good, arguably the equal of Connors, the only difference being absolute # of titles and consistency. That tips it to Connors. I'd also say Connors was a better "show" player....i.e., he ate up the big events and wanted the best competition; he showed no fear.

Xavier G
10-22-2013, 01:04 PM
The return game is pretty much a wash between those two; both are devastatingly effective in that department. Andre's stats are very good, arguably the equal of Connors, the only difference being absolute # of titles and consistency. That tips it to Connors. I'd also say Connors was a better "show" player....i.e., he ate up the big events and wanted the best competition; he showed no fear.

We agree really. :)

chandler bing
10-22-2013, 05:47 PM
Not a fan of either but Connors by a long way.

timnz
10-22-2013, 06:02 PM
As agassi himself said each generation gets better. Agassi would have rather easily handled connors if both used modern equipment. The different in their forehands is ridiculous. Connors won loads of tournaments but not that many slams. It bit like the womens game where the frequency of tournaments affect rating

I'd have to disagree with Andre. Agassi wasn't at his peak at 19 where 37 year old Connors pushed him to 5 Sets at the 1989 US Open - but it says a lot. I don't think Agassi improved more than Connors lost at 37 compared to his peak. So I don't see a lot between them.